the Basica

  The degree to which we perceive illusion in this world varies from person to person. To some, all is real; to others, nothing. Some say that which is called a game is not real, but all else is. Others find reality only in the physical, the provable, and the now.

  Whatever we may believe about the reality of the stage upon which we see ourselves and the props we may find available, what we do with our situation is real. If a commitment is made, the responsibility is real; if a promise is broken, the violation is real. If a reward is given for true achievement, the earning is real; if it is bestowed for obsequiousness, the fawning and abasement are real. If someone is lead into wrongdoing, the entrapment is real; if the wrong is committed without encouragement, the initiative is real. If an honest mistake is made, the sincerity is real; if harm is meant, the intention is real. If misbehavior is regretted, the remorse is real; if denial is made in order to avoid attonement, the lie is real. If consequences are fitting and proper for what has been done, they have real legitimacy; if someone is punished for a crime not committed, overpunished, or punished repeatedly for a crime committed only once, a real injustice is done.

  Forgiveness is real. Compassion is real. Generosity and cooperation are real. Spontaneity is real. Contrivance is also real, as are insensitivity, pretense, greed, and fear. Worldly power is illusory, in the sense that it can be fickle and in that it is bestowed by mutual agreement more often than we generally care to admit. But the grab for it can be quite real, as well as the manipulation and abuse of it once it is possessed.

  What we own, how we look, the way we style our lives - all these can be used to set our stage. We can argue back and forth about the reality of these things. But what what makes us who we are is what we do with what is ours to shape and why. And that is the reality that transcends all earthly and ephemeral things.

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